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Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has turned to Border Patrol to help them hold immigrants awaiting their criminal proceedings under zero tolerance.

ICE has been trying to prioritize bed space in the Otay Mesa Detention Center with immigrants who have bonded out of criminal custody, but are still awaiting their trials. But due to the large number of people coming into the agency’s custody under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy – up to 40 or 50 people a day at times – ICE is turning to Border Patrol to temporarily hold some detainees, reports VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan.

This arrangement has criminal defense attorneys raising alarms. The attorneys say that Border Patrol facilities aren’t equipped to hold people long-term. They cite a lack of access to medical care, hygiene – like showers, toothbrushes and clean clothes – and inability to access their legal counsel while they’re going through criminal proceedings.

ICE has long been the immigration authority in charge of detaining people. The Otay Mesa facility, though often criticized by attorneys and advocates, was built specifically to detain immigrants. Border Patrol, on the other hand, only has the capacity to detain people for very short periods of time. But the agency has had to play an increasing role in detaining and holding migrants under zero tolerance.

Border Patrol declined to comment, due to pending litigation over detainment conditions in Border Patrol stations.

  • The U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego announced on Thursday that a former Border Patrol supervisor pleaded guilty in federal court, admitting “he used his official position to create bogus alerts in a border-security law enforcement database to have an innocent man detained by Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.” The announcement came only a day after the U.S. attorney’s office said a Customs and Border Protection agent had been indicted for strangling a traveler at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

SDSU West-mentum

Chalk up another boost for SDSU West, one of two competing proposals to redevelop the stadium site in Mission Valley.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted Thursday to endorse the SDSU West ballot initiative, reportsTimes of San Diego.

“SDSU West represents the greatest economic benefit for the future growth and development of the region,” Chamber President Jerry Sanders said in a statement.

The chamber endorsement is just the latest in what seems to be a burst of momentum for SDSU West. Councilwoman Barbara Bry recently came out in support of the measure, joining Rep. Scott Peters, the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, the San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action and a handful of other political players.

Finding success at the ballot in San Diego often requires the support of developers and the business community, local unions and/or neighborhood activist types.

SoccerCity, the other proposal to redevelop Mission Valley, might be getting a little nervous now that the chamber’s backed SDSU West and it appears a union backing might not be too far off.

There’s one last, big shoe to drop. Tom Lemmon, head of the powerful union Building and Construction Trades Council, tweeted out a photo of him and two other powerful labor leaders with Jack McGrory, the former city manager who is now a chief proponent of the SDSU West plan. It has inevitably (and surely intentionally) led to speculation that SDSU West could soon count organized labor as a backer, too.

Of course, it was just last week that a major initiative supported by both the chamber and labor failed spectacularly.

The Learning Curve: Meet Will

It’s been a while since The Learning Curve, Voice of San Diego’s education newsletter, has made its way into your inbox. Our new education reporter Will Huntsberry is settled in and has revved the Learning Curve engine back up. He promises to make reading it akin to “a dip in a cool mountain stream — something to leave you invigorated instead of battered.”

Huntsberry writes that as he dives into covering San Diego’s education landscape, he’s gotten up to speed on school bonds, and the nuances of a county with several separate school districts (in some regions, one district covers the entire county).

Make sure to give Will a shout if you have any tips or story ideas.

Expect The Learning Curve back in your inbox every two weeks from here on out. Sign up for it here.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Kinsee Morlan, and edited by Sara Libby.

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